Catching some rays

In a world with increasing energy needs, scientists are turning to plants for help in using solar power.

By Sarah Webb, 00:00 AM July 2, 2007

Harnessing the power of the sun is nothing new. People have had solar-powered calculators and buildings with solar panels for decades. But plants are the real experts: They've been using sunlight as an energy source for billions of years.

 

Cells in the green leaves of plants work like tiny factories to convert sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into sugars and starches—stored energy that the plants can use. This conversion process is called photosynthesis. Unfortunately, unless you're a plant...

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